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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Life ain't fair... deal

“It’s not fair!!!”
How many times have you heard your kids whine that in a voice that just sets your teeth on edge?
This idea of fairness has permeated our society and I for one am simply sick of it.
At least, the idea that: A. everything simply MUST be fair, and: B. the idea that fairness means an equality of outcomes.
This idea, that everything must be fair, and everyone must be equal is a sickness of western, and in particular American culture.
We prize fair play and fair dealing. This is a good thing so far as it goes. Playing by the rules and keeping your bargains and treating people fairly in business deals is in every one's best interest.
However, we do our children no favors when we teach them that life is “fair.”
It most manifestly is not fair.
I learned this early and hard when my father died when I was just a boy. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, but it did teach me an important lesson — bad stuff happens.
We have, in the interests of fairness stopped taking score at ball games, handed out medals to all and sundry so no one feels left out, given “social promotions” to children who cannot read so their fragile egos won’t be hurt, stopped marking up papers in red ink for the same reason and created racial preferences which are the exact opposite of the so-decried Jim Crow laws of the early 20th century.
And so now, we have a generation of children growing up who expect to be paid $50,000 a year right out of college for doing nothing. Who get mortally offended and feel “disrespected” when their boss criticizes them. And continue, in their 20s and 30s to whine about “fairness.”
Welcome to real life. People are going to talk to you in ways you don’t like. You are sometimes going to get in trouble for things which are out of your control.
Is it fair? No, but it’s life.
Of course, the left plays off this (you didn’t think I’d go an entire column without talking politics did you?)
Much of this is a creation of the left stemming from social engineering theories and child rearing theories from the 60s.
Dr. Benjamin Scott argued that spanking was child abuse and not effective discipline, never mind a good spanking now and then when deserved had been an effective parenting tool for all of human history. Leftists of every stripe argued that racial policies must be used to “redress” past abuses.
Don’t misunderstand, I’m not arguing that we should return to the days of segregation. Or even that perhaps affirmative action didn’t have it’s place at one time. However, in the quest to be “fair,” programs like affirmative action are being used to prevent certain groups from succeeding while promoting others.
Equality of outcomes is all fine and good as a theory. But, like so much else the left promotes, not so wonderful in the execution.
Equality of outcomes means no one loses, but no one really wins either. Equality of outcomes means equality of mediocrity — sad in a society in which merit has always meant more than birth.
We should strive for as much equality as we can, this is true. As much equality of opportunity as is possible. Equal justice before the law. Discrimination should be condemned no matter who is being discriminated against.
But we’re not all going to win. When the Yankees play the Royals there are an equal number of players on both teams. They both play on the same field. But most likely the Royals are going to get killed — and both sides know it going in.
There are always winners and losers. That’s life.
All IMHO, of course.

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